Saturday, January 26, 2008

Walking in L.A., walking in L.A.

I have often read (some of) Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat, but it seemed to me that I had never finished it, so I finally read it cover to cover. It was a little different this time since the characters pass through Henley, which I know now from the Football Yogi living there.

Then I decided that I had read the whole book before, but had forgotten about it. The thing is, it's really just a collection of amusing anecdotes with almost no sequential story (you could randomly reorder all the chapters of the book without really harming it in any way) and not much of an ending (it starts raining and they head home). So it's an easy book to pick up, put down, and forget how much of it you read.

Speaking of rain, the monsoon season has started in Los Angeles. I was walking home the other day and a bus went through a deep puddle and sent a wave of water over me. It seemed more like something that would happen in a movie (or, as Maribeth said, to Carrie Bradshaw) rather than in real life. I was more wet than if someone had thrown a bucket of water at me, but slightly less wet than if I had just walked into the Pacific Ocean.

Speaking of Jerome (K. Jerome), Jerome gave the quiz at the pub for the first time. One of his questions was, "Where is the Loop of Henle?" So I joked, "I think it's on the Thames." But then his next question was, "On what river is the Henley Regatta?" I guess he was going for a thematic sequence.

We won the quiz because Patrick was very much in tune with Jerome... or maybe it's just that Patrick is very good. Patrick had written a handout (intended for use the following week) on identifying languages in unfamiliar scripts (did you know that Maltese is a Semitic language written in a Latin alphabet?) and Jerome had written effectively the same thing so Patrick had to start over. I told Patrick that they were like Harry Potter and Voldemort and one of them ought to learn the art of Occlumency to keep the other one out of his mind. Eric said that they were more like Dumbledore and Grindelwald.


At 3:03 AM, January 27, 2008, Blogger Kathryn said...

I've been soaked by a passing bus more times than I can count. If the sidewalk isn't wide enough, there's no escape. It's particularly unpleasant when it happens on your way to work.

At 4:01 AM, February 02, 2008, Blogger yogingm said...

In Henley-on-Thames, the pavements are so narrow that one has to use a very sophisticated umbrella (ella, ella) strategy when walking to work in the rain. In an attempt to minimise how soaked one will be upon arrival in the office, there is a constant risk assessment whether to hold the umbrella in the traditional upright position or to hold it out towards the road to guard against the cars splashing past.


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